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Burmese soldiers attack Kareni refu
Subject: Burmese soldiers attack Kareni refugees, kill 10 (The Asian Age, 4/1/97.)
Burmese soldiers attack Kareni refugees, kill 10
The Asian Age, 4/1/97 (New Delhi)
Mae Hong Son (Thailand), Jan. 3: A group of Burmese soldiers raided two
refugee camps in Thailand on Friday, killing at least 10 Kareni refugees
and wounding 50, Kareni and Thai government sources said.
A statement issued by the Kareni ethnic group said two camps near Nasoi
village, about 80 km from Mac Hong Son in northern Thailand, were
attacked early in the morning by Burmese soldiers.
It said more than 10 people were killed, 50 wounded and many still
missing following the attack, which occurred while most people were asleep.
A spokesman said that armed Burmese soldiers fired on one of the camps
housing some 1,500 Kareni refugees for about 10 minutes before
retreating. He said that Thai authorities were investigating the attack.
The Kareni statement said the two camps house a total of about 5,000
people, 70 per cent of whom are women and children.
Colonel Prachote Pienchetkul, chief of the Thai-Burma Border committee
based in Mac Hong Son, said he would send a protest letter to his Burmese
counterpart on Saturday.
About 20,000 Kareni refugees, fleeing earlier fighting between ethnic
Kareni and government forces in Burma, are living in a number of border
camps in Thailand.
The refugees are mostly families and followers of the Kareni National
Progress Party, a small guerrilla group operating in Burma's Kayah state.
The KNPP and Rangoon concluded a cease-fire agreement in early 1995, but
fighting resumed after the KNPP accused Rangoon of violating the
cease-fire by sending thousands of troops to areas under its control.
Burmese authorities in Rangoon could not immediately be reached for
comment on the attack. (Reuter)